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The Media. April 25, 2013. Opportunities to discuss course content. Today 11-2 Monday 10-2. Learning Objectives. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of how presidential and congressional elections are financed .

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The media

The Media

April 25, 2013

Opportunities to discuss course content

Opportunities to discuss course content

  • Today 11-2

  • Monday 10-2

Learning objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of how presidential and congressional elections are financed.

  • Identify and describe the formal and informal institutions involved in the electoral process



  • Chapter 7: Political Communication and the Mass Media (Flanigan)

Horse race coverage

Horse Race Coverage

  • What is it?

  • What does it contain

  • Why?

Following the polls

Following The Polls

The keys to horse race coverage

The keys to horse race coverage

  • Polling

  • Perception

  • No issues

Horse race dominated the primaries

Horse Race Dominated the Primaries

Horse race coverage in the primary election

Horse Race coverage in the Primary election

Component i categorizer

Component I: Categorizer

  • Sorts the candidates into winners and losers

  • Creates an Image for the candidate

  • Romney

  • Obama

Component ii expectation setter

Component II: Expectation Setter

  • Puts odds on the candidates

  • You want to be at the top… duh

  • But it isn't as good as you might think

Component iii mentioner

Component III: Mentioner

  • You want the media to notice you

  • Not all press is good press

  • Mentions mean money and votes

Component iv winnowing

Component IV:Winnowing

  • The Press Winnows (narrows) down the candidates

  • Attention is on Iowa and NH

  • Frontloading is the results

Winnowing in 2012

Winnowing In 2012



Presidential debates

Presidential Debates

  • A Recent Phenomenon

  • General Strategies

  • Do not screw up

Why candidates like these

Why Candidates Like these

  • A chance for exposure

  • A chance for Legitimacy

  • A chance to move in the polls

Presidential debates1

Presidential Debates

  • Who Wins (the leader in the polls)

  • The Person who doesn’t make a mistake

  • Does it matter?

Presidential debates2

Presidential Debates

  • Win by not losing

  • What don't you want to do?

    • The 1960 Debate

    • Seem heartless

    • You are no Jack Kennedy

    • Eastern Europe is Free

    • Adm. James Stockdale

      • Blind , Deaf, Dumb

Impact of the first debate on coverage

Impact of the First Debate on Coverage

The general election

The General Election

2012 vs 2008

2012 vs 2008

Less horse race than 2008

Less Horse Race than 2008

Obligatory chad long dig

Obligatory Chad Long Dig

Negative coverage dominates

Negative Coverage Dominates

Horse race coverage favors frontrunners

Horse Race Coverage Favors Frontrunners

The media missed palin

The Media Missed Palin

The media strategy

The Media Strategy

The media strategy1

The Media Strategy

  • Getting the Message Out

    • Paid Advertisements

    • Free Press

  • You campaign for votes and you campaign for media by getting free coverage

  • Avoid cannibalizing

Getting free press

Getting Free Press

  • Having your message get covered by the media

  • You can reach a wide audience and It is not costing you money

  • This is fully mediated

Obama gets more coverage president candidate

Obama Gets More Coverage (President + Candidate)

Maximizing free coverage

Maximizing Free Coverage

  • Create a package

  • Convey a winning message

  • Shape an Image

Maximizing free coverage1

Maximizing Free Coverage

  • Don’t Say too Much

  • Repeat the Few Basic Points

  • Bad Press is Bad Press

Ask herman cain about bad news

Ask Herman Cain about Bad news

Paid media in 2012

Paid Media in 2012

Paid media

Paid Media

  • Unmediated

  • Control the Message

  • More outlets than ever

A record breaking year

A Record Breaking Year

  • 1 million ads were aired

  • Both Sides were overwhelmingly negative

  • Obama Spent more and Ran More Ads

  • The Best Ads

Herman cain bizarre ads

Herman Cain Bizarre Ads

  • The Rabbit

  • Smoking

Targeting ads and their effect

Targeting Ads and their Effect

  • Uncommitted voters vs Partisans

  • When are they Most Effective?

  • Ads are a sign of political viability

Candidate credibility

Candidate Credibility

  • We have to trust the messenger

  • Issue Ownership

  • Try to focus on your best issue

Getting more votes

Getting More Votes

  • Delivering a positive message about your candidate (mobilizing)

  • Deliver a negative message about the opposition (mobilizing/demobilizing)

Biographical ads

Biographical Ads

  • Inform us about the Candidate

  • Very important early in the campaign

  • Obama doesn’t need to run these….

Issue ads

Issue Ads

  • Focus on a specific issue or a policy area

  • Associate yourself with favorable policies

  • Do not mention issue weakness

Examples of issue ads

Examples of Issue Ads

  • The Bear in the Woods in 1984

  • Mike Huckabee and Chuck Norris...

  • Hillary Clinton- Attack/Issue Ad

Attack ads

Attack Ads

  • The Norm Rather than the Exception

  • The Mother of all Attack Ads

The effect of attack ads on voters

The Effect of Attack ads on voters

  • Some voters become disenchanted and disaffected

  • Your Base Loves them!

How effective are these

How Effective are these

  • If they didn’t work, candidates wouldn’t run them

  • The Lessons of 1988

    • The Revolving Door

    • Willie Horton

Why they work and who uses them more

Why They Work and Who uses them more

  • We don’t trust politicians

  • They are more memorable and informative

  • Challengers and vulnerable incumbents use them

How to deal with them

How To Deal with them

  • Defend the Charges

  • Counterattack on the same issue or up the ante- The Puppy Ad

  • Attack the Credibility of your opponent

How not to deal with them

How not to deal with them

  • Do Nothing

  • If you get Punched in the nose, you must punch back

How the attack can backfire

How the attack can backfire

  • If you are seen as being too evil

Ads can backfire

Ads Can Backfire

  • You do it too late to make a difference

  • You bring a knife to a gun fight

The new media

The New Media

  • Innovative in 2008

  • Candidates had a lot to like

  • They didn’t like the anarchy

Social media in 2012

Social Media in 2012

  • No new Innovations

  • Obama Retains the social media advantage

  • More Control

  • More negative

You have no friends on social media

You have No Friends on Social Media

  • Login